Sheffield Pharmacist Claims the Title of UK's First Paperless Practice
A Sheffield pharmacist has laid claim to being the UK’s first paperless practice, as the sector strives to catch up with the digital revolution sweeping the NHS.
Last month Khizer Qureshi, owner of Foxhill Pharmacy, processed 16,000 prescriptions on an completely cloud-based system, making his the first paperless community pharmacy in the UK.
It’s all down to a cutting-edge pharmacy software called Titan, developed by medical tech experts Invatech Health, in Bristol. The entirely new, innovative cloud-based Patient Medication Record (PMR) solution creates end-to-end digital pharmacy workflow, improves dispensing safety through barcode technology, helps control business activities and improves the experience for patients and practice owners.
Crucially, it aims to free up pharmacists’ time, enabling them to focus on newly-commissioned patient services designed to relieve the burden from under-pressure GPs and the wider NHS.
Mr Qureshi, 40, bought his first pharmacy in 2008 and now saves six hours every day which would normally be spent manually checking prescriptions.
This gives him more time to consult with patients, pass responsibility to staff and to focus on business development on his chain of eight pharmacies across the Sheffield area.
“We’ve been getting really busy recently,” he said, “and without a PMR which could keep up, things were getting a bit chaotic, with prescriptions and paper filling up the shelves.
“Since we implemented Titan last year it’s changed completely. We’re still super busy but now we’re also super organised, free-flowing and with staff who are more engaged in the business.
“We’re totally fee of clutter and, in addition, I have options of how to spend my time, rather than taking six or seven hours a day checking pill boxes. I can develop my services – Medicine Use Reviews, the Covid clinic, giving flu vaccinations under no time pressure – as well as focusing on the financials and growing the business through improvements and efficiencies.
“Titan is the only PMR which could possibly create a paperless pharmacy and I understand we’re the first to achieve the landmark, so it’s a great moment for us.”
Before Titan, PMR technology in the pharmacy sector had changed very little since the 1990s. The manual way in which traditional systems managed prescriptions meant that there was little in the way of workflow and pharmacies relied heavily on paper.
While the Government seeks to introduce electronic prescribing in the NHS by 2024 to improve efficiency and cut medication errors, investments into electronic tools for GP practices have simply shifted the burden of paper from doctors to community pharmacists. Until now.
In late 2019, Titan became the first Since becoming accredited by the NHS in late 2019 – the first pharmacy Patient Medication Record (PMR) to do so for 15 years – Titan has already take two per cent market share, processing over 1.5 million prescriptions per month across numerous customer sites in England and Wales. In January, Invatech announced the completion of £2.2m total funding from Innovate UK, to support further development of the software.
Tariq Muhammad, CEO of Invatech Health, said: “It’s brilliant to see how Khizer has adopted Titan into his business and the fact that it’s created the UK’s first paperless pharmacy is a real triumph. We’re delighted, and I hope other pharmacists will take note and follow his example.
“Overall, we’re delighted with the progress that Titan has made, commercially and operationally, over the past two years. We have taken an idea and built something which is helping independent pharmacy businesses and large scale operators alike.
“Titan is the “how” to the problem that everyone in our sector recognises. It can help to deliver the vision that everyone wants, while bringing benefits across the NHS and the health sector. Releasing pharmacists time is fundamental if we want them to, for example, help deliver the national vaccination programme.
“With 5,000 independent and small group pharmacists in England and Wales, alongside the larger corporates, the commercial potential for Titan is massive. We’re fundamentally different to all other PMRs and are offering a new way of life for pharmacists and a new way of doing things.”